Spammers & Scammers: Keeping Out Creepy Photos


“Profiles and pictures and scrapbooks – oh my!”

That might be the reaction of a few members on the occasion they would run across an inappropriate photo. As our membership base has grown, this has become an exceedingly difficult task to have done in a timely manner. The balance between getting a new member into the action right away and weighing the risk of risque photo making its way onto the site is a delicate one. That’s where being the jack of all trades comes in handy!

As many of you already know from the forums, one part of my job here at CM is security – keeping scammers and spammers out. Part of that is profiling the potential risk of someone at sign up. I can’t get into the details, as no good magician can reveal his secrets, but it works remarkably well!

It struck me that most of the inappropriate photos do not come from actual CatholicMatch members, but from scammers.

With a little bit of elbow grease, the security algorithms were married to the review process. Now the vast majority of members can upload a photo or update their profile and have it be seen right away, without waiting for our reviewers to get to it. (They still do, so don’t think you can sneak those swimsuit photos in!)

No system is perfect, of course; that is where we rely on the CM community to help out. Any photo that might slip through can be hidden from view by a single member marking it as inappropriate!

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